The opening reception for SFAI’s MFA graduation exhibition was an art subculture celebrity-sighting extravaganza. Artist ">Doris Salcedo, SFAI Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President Okwui Enwezor, artist and SFAI Dean Renee Green, and curator and Executive Director of The Renaissance Society Suzanne Ghez were among the world-class illuminati in attendance. The MFA catalog essays by Renee Green available online, and Chris Gilbert, ex Matrix curator at BAM, give a sense of the nature of the administrative shift in focus and the excitement about academic potentialities at SFAI.

This wide ranging exhibition of over 80 graduates includes work of more established artists such as Lisa K. Blatt and Keira Kotler alongside standout showings of emerging artists Jesse Gottesman and Niloo Tehranchi.

Ms. Tehranchi’s maximalist wall drawing and collages can be apprehended at layered distances referencing material construction while being contextualized by the minutae of mechanical reproduction. Mr. Gottesman’s sublime prints result from the contemplative application of extended printmaking techniques producing horizontal rectangular fields which read like dark screens crossed with vertical-grain white light.

Taravat Talepasand applies a mastery of 15th and 16th century Persian miniature painting to extend the practice beyond patriarchal narrative forms to treat feminist conditions that transcend the conflict and limitation within fundamentalist societies. Lisa K. Blatt, whose work has been seen internationally, articulates a cartography of light, time-exposing lapsed drifts of intense light at the lower limits of rectangular fields of stark black C prints.

Jennifer Locke explores the ambiguity of competition, dislocating wrestlers in the central frame of a minicam triptych, with side frames of static and distortion, intercut with unsteady process shots that ultimately translate the disequilibrium of outcome and outtake, referencing Roland Barthes and Tony Labat. Keira Kotler negotiates the depth of field territories of Uta Barth, while concentrating on specific aspects of color in the production of square light jet prints.

- Cheryl Meeker [Saturday, May 27th, 2006]


From the editors